A photo of a diverse ensemble cast in mid-twentieth century singing a song.

The Edith Lutyens & Norman Bel Geddes Design
Enhancement Fund


Please Note: The Edith Lutyens and Norman Bel Geddes Design Enhancement Fund is paused for 2021 and will return in Spring 2022 for the July 1, 2022 - June 30, 2023 grant cycle. The below page reflects archival information from the FY20 grant cycle.


Downloads, Narrative Guidelines, & Evaluation Criteria


PDF Preview of Application »
Narrative Statement Guidelines »
Production Budget Template »
Production History Template »

These downloads do not constitute all of the documents that you must provide in your application. Please read all information below.

Required Documents

  • Narrative Statement (four pages maximum). Download Guidelines here.
  • Full Production Budget (one page maximum) including income and expenses for the proposed project. The budget should not be exclusive to the design element(s) for which you are requesting funds. Please:
    • Use two columns in the budget: the left column should include the original design budget, and the right column should indicate where enhancement funds would be applied if awarded, as well as other income and expense changes that would result from the enhancement (e.g. projected increase in box office income or increase in personnel fees).
    • You may use your own template or A.R.T./New York’s Production Budget template.
    • Round your numbers to the nearest dollar.
    • Indicate the fiscal year in which the production for which funding is being requested will occur.
    • Save the budget to PDF format, ensuring it fits on one page.
  • Budget Notes (one page maximum) for line items that require additional clarification or explanation. Your budget notes should detail secured and pending income, earned income projections, and expense details. This section is the opportunity to show research and comparables that clarify the enhancement budget against the original design budget. Please:
    • Clearly detail your request enhancement, and explain any changes to your original budget that would result.
    • Provide details for both earned and contributed income, including projected ticket sales, individual and board contributions, and indicate secured and pending institutional funding.
    • Indicate the fiscal year in which the production for which funding is being requested will occur.
    • Save to PDF format and ensure it fits on one page.
  • A brief biography of the designer(s) (one page maximum) who will be working on the funded elements, in PDF format.
  • A copy of your 501(c)(3) IRS determination letter (one page).
  • Production History (two pages maximum). For your company’s most recently completed, current, and future season. Include staged readings, full productions, school programs, and any other artistic output of the organization. You may use A.R.T./New York's template (download here) or your own, provided that the following information is included:
    • Title
    • Performance dates
    • Venue capacity
    • Audience attendance
    • We strongly suggest noting if the designer(s) working on your proposed production have also worked on any past productions.
  • OPTIONAL: You may include up to a TOTAL of SIX PAGES of additional materials that will enhance the panel’s understanding of the proposed design, and the work of your designer(s). (For example, one PDF attachment with 4 pages of costume renderings and two JPEG uploads of production stills, OR six PDF attachments of 1 page each.) Images, renderings, recordings, and other information about the current and enhanced designs are very welcome. Please note that these attachments are completely optional, and past panels have funded many proposals without additional documents.
    • Panel books are distributed to the panels digitally, and supplemental materials are also viewed on a TV in the room on the day of the panel.
    • You may submit a maximum of one video of 3 minutes or less as one of your supplemental documents. (This counts as "one page".)
    • You may submit a maximum of one audio sample of 3 minutes or less as one of your supplemental documents. (This counts as "one page".)
    • If you do not have the additional attachments in digital form, please email [email protected] for instructions on how to submit them. You will be asked to mail them to A.R.T./New York, ATTN: Programs Department, 520 Eighth Avenue, Suite 319, New York, NY 10018 and ensure that they are postmarked on or prior to the grant deadline. 
    • If you have large materials, bring ONE copy of large-scaled design sketches, models, CDs, DVDs, or other work samples from your designer(s) to be reviewed in the office. These materials will be returned in early July, and the applicant will have to come pick them up at the A.R.T./New York office.

Evaluation Criteria

The panel is asked to keep the following three criteria in mind when evaluating each proposal. As you review your narrative and supporting documents, please consider how well your company’s proposal addresses these three areas:

Use of Funds (40%)

  • Is the enhanced project budget clearly articulated and does it fall within the parameters of the grant?
  • Is the budget realistic, in the estimation of the panel?
  • Are the enhanced and non-enhanced versions of the project clearly explained?
  • Will the enhancement have a discernible impact on the designer and their growth as an artist?
  • Will the production itself, and the audience’s experience, be made stronger and fuller by the design enhancement?

Project Logistics (40%)

  • Is the production timeframe reasonable and achievable?
  • If funds are awarded, is it realistic that the enhanced design will be implemented as described?
  • Will the production move forward with or without funding, or is the application underwriting the original design itself rather than an enhancement?

Organizational Identity (20%)

  • Does the proposal clearly define the company’s mission and programming?
  • Does the production for which the company seeks funding seem in sync with the stated mission?
  • Does the company distinguish itself from other applicants in serving a unique community of artists and audience members?

A note about COVID-19: We understand that this is a period with many uncertainties and changes, and therefore we will not be judging the feasibility of the applications in relation to the COVID-19 crisis. Rather, we will be assessing feasibility based on whether the applicant would be able to execute the timeline of their design enhancement under typical circumstances. We know that production schedules are still very much in flux at this moment, and panelists will be reviewing your application with the assumption that you will be producing your project on the timeline you have proposed. We encourage you to take a close look at the evaluation criteria when crafting your application, and please email grants@art-newyork.org if you have any questions.

Tips for the Applicant

  • Applicants should not rely on past accolades or assume that panelists have any preexisting knowledge of their work. Panelists are asked to rely only on what the company has shared about itself in its application.
  • The most successful applicants will offer a clear breakdown of how the funds will be spent, not simply add a lump sum to a particular budget line item.
  • The panel does not review applications with any aesthetic criteria in mind, and therefore a wide range of design elements and concepts are welcome to apply for this grant. The panel will focus on the feasibility of the project and impact of the grant.
  • A lack of funding should not impair the production as originally envisioned by the design team. Put another way, the enhancement should be described in positive terms, and should not devalue the creativity and feasibility of the original design concept(s) for the production.
  • The panel carefully considers whether applicants will have enough time to implement the design enhancement. Therefore, while all projects occurring during the grand period are eligible, applicants with projects in July must show they have sufficient time to execute the specific design enhancement requested.
  • The purchase of equipment is possible through this fund. However, requests for equipment purchase must address why purchasing is better than renting, how purchasing it will specifically serve this production and enhance the designer's experience, and what the cost of renting is, in comparison.
  • A.R.T./New York offers applicants the opportunity to received feedback from a Programs Staff Member on their narrative and/or budget and budget notes in advance of the grant deadline. For information about Narrative & Budget Review, click here.
  • Info sessions reviewing the grant criteria and application will be offered in-person and a pre-recorded session will be made available online. For more information on scheduled info sessions and to register, click here

For more information about this program, please email [email protected]


The Edith Lutyens and Norman Bel Geddes Design Enhancement Fund was made possible by generous funding from the Edith Lutyens and Norman Bel Geddes Foundation.


Header: Irish Repertory Theatre's production of Finian's Rainbow. Photo by Carol Rosegg